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Mark_C

Need Help Again With Very Sick Comet

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Hi all,

I hope someone can help me, I don't often get on the internet, and haven't visited for a long time, but the last time I was here some of you were incredibly helpful and talked me through nursing my comet back to health.

The story of the last time is here http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=63471

Anyway for the last year or so my little comet has been feeding with the other larger fish in the tank, she never grew as much as they did, but I took care to ensure she got a good share of the food, and she always seemed to do OK, she is still incredibly tame and friendly, which makes it so much sadder to see her ill, I swear she looks at me wanting me to help her :cry1

Anyway all was going well until Sunday evening, the weekend had been fairly busy and I hadn't aid much attention, but I looked in the tank and found her lying on her side looking dead under the filter intake.

I stuck my hand in and her tail was being sucked a bit against the pick up pipe, I gently freed her and she swam to the surface, she then proceeded to swim around for a while near the surface but kept sinking down to the bottom.

She was reluctant to feed though, and kept sinking back down, she swam into my hand a few times, she does this anyway, but just laid there limply this time.

I had a good look at her when she was in my hand, and she seems to have a problem wih her left eye, it is hard to describe what it looks like, but it almost seems like half of it is see through, at first glance I thought she had lost the eye, but closer inspection revealed the outer eye is still there, in some lights it looks like an empty eye socket, but then from another angle with the light different it looks quite normal.

She has been spending the whole time sitting on the bottom in a corner of the tank since then, although she swims up whenever she sees me come into the room, her swimming is fairly weak, and she sinks slowly as soon as she stops.

I put the breeder net that I used last time back in the tank last night, and tried to feed her some pea, but she didn't seem to eat much (if any) and would just sort of swim over and lay on it, she looks very very weak.

I don't know whether anything can be done for her this time, maybe luck won't be on our side, but my kids are distraught, and I am pretty sad about it myself, so thought I would try the best place I could think of for advice.

If anyone has some ideas of what may be wrong, or what I can do please reply.

I will post up the required information on tank, water etc later today I am going to try feeding her again now in th breeder net.

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Mark~ I'm so sorry to hear this :( . I remember your fishes story so well because it was back in the days just before I joined the Mod squad and seeing how your fish recovered inspired me so very much and really got me even more interested in researching various things fish related...so I am especially sad to hear your littlest one is again not well.

It doesn't sound good. That sinking thing. Her eye is what we call cloudy. It can be from trauma, stress or just a build up of organic waste in the tank. It does indicate low immunity.

I'll wait on the tank parameters before a water change and probably a water change is then the first port of call here.

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Hi Trinket,

Good to see your reply, your help when splash was ill before was wonderful, I wouldn't have had a clue what to do without your advice.

I have a couple of answers below, will do the rest over the next couple of hours, it's hard work at home now as I am a single dad, and the kids have loads of stuff to get ready, so it can be hard to get 5 minutes to do things.

About the cloud eye thing, it doesn't look like any of the pics I have seen of cloud eye on the internet, as I mentioned at some angles it almost looks like her eye is missing, don't know if that onfo helps but I thought I would try and describe it as best as I can

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? not always easy to tell, but colour match looks nearest to 40ppm

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? drops API kit

[*]Water temperature? sorry no thermometer, I don't think it is certainly not abnormal though, it is autumn here so cooler than it has been recently

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 50 gallons running for 15 months since move

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Aqua one 980, not sure about any more info

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 50% every 2 weeks usually, although it did go 4 weeks recently

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 comets

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, and salt 5mls per gallon

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flake food, crumbles, algae tablets, peas, blood worms, varied diet, feed them once every day, occasionally have a day off, they do eat fresh algae too when I scrape the tank

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? no

[*]Any medications added to the tank? no

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? her tail is frayed but this I suspect is due to the filter sucking it, it seemed ok a couple of days ago, her left eye looks se through at the bottom

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? yes sitting on bottom, swimming weakly, sinking, not eating, still perks up whenever she sees me in the room though

Hope that helps, will do the PH in a little while

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I forgot to add, I changed 70% of the water on Sunday immediately when I saw she was not well.

I didn't test before the change except amonia, which was 0, I just wanted to change it as quickly as possible, and in my rush forgot to get samples for the other tests before I started re-filling

It had been changed 1 week before this 50%

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I can't imagine how busy you are with kids, working as a single Dad. Tough. I do imagine though that the 4 weeks with no water change is behind this and it may just be a matter of getting back on track, more regular changes. You haven't had any new fish, your cycle is intact after the move, you feed well and lots of variety. you have algae. The organic waste build up seems to be the only demon card unless this is an accident/injury. Is that a possibility do you think?

Is the eye black? Sort of reflective? Any chance of a picture? I wonder if shes had a tank accident, stuck in there behind the pipe- that could have done it. Has the eye come out? Any eye trauma can cause floating problems because of the stress/shock factor which can be quite extreme especially in weaker fish and loss of equilibrium can also be caused by any injury because it affects osmoregulation.

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The eye still seems to be there, and it is black mostly, but it looks kind of clear, and there is less of a gold ring of skin around it, if that makes sense, I tried to get a picture but got nothing that really shows it well, I will keep trying though.

I did wonder if it was an injury, but it's very hard to tell, they never seem to get any injuries normally, except the odd lost scale

I tried to feed her and she didn't take anything at all, she swims up to the top when I am there, and acts as if she wants to feed, but when I drop some food in for her she doesn't try and take it.

One of her gills (right side) looks a little pale on the inner edge, so I tried to get a close look, but it doesn't look cottony or swollen like the spot she got on her nose before.

She looks tired, like it is a real effort for her to swim up to the top :(

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I am sorry about your fish! Trinket is on the case which is always good, at least where I am concerned! :)

I know you are super busy there (kinda like super dad) but if you get a chance while checking ph can you check those nitrates out of the tap too? I am concerned that if you did a 75% water change before doing tests and you still get 40 nitrates.... :(

Pictures are always good, but you have to have a cooperative fish! Do you have a sick tank you could move her to?

Just wanted to pop by and let you know I rooting for you both! :heart

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Thanks Stephie, support always appreciated. Good point on the nitrates.

Is she opening her mouth allright as she swims around, & comes up for food? Are the gills (fleshy inside part) red as they should be, just one edge is pale?Do you mean edge of the fleshy gill part or the gill cover itself?

She sounds very weak. I'm sorry, But I have a few more Qs :

Can you just check, any ragged fins? Is her dorsal up not clamped?

Is there anything sharp like rocks in the tank at all and has there been any breeding type chasing/runaround?

Also 40 for nitrates after the water change is getting rather high. Does the gravel need vacuuming/filters rinsing anywhere in the tank that there may be decaying or decomposing food that bacteria love to grow on? These things can reduce nitrates.

She could always have swallowed something nasty that was lurking too.

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the way she is laying her fins are floppy, but they do perk up as she swims a bit.

I vac the gravel when I do water changes, but I dont always rinse the filter sponges, I thought they were supposed to encourage good bacteria growth.

I have been running the tank with the small salt dose ever since she was ill last time, I top it up carefully every water change, should I add some more to try and help?

Yes her fins are ragged now, the tailfin got ragged and frayed when it was in the suction pipe, but her dorsal has a split now too

Here are a couple of pics, they sort of show her eye and what I was trying to describe, the camera does make it look cloudy, but when viewed by eye it looks more transparent, particularly at the bottom

The corner of the tank is where she is spending most of her time now

eye2.jpg

eye1.jpg

Edited by Mark_C

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I would wait for Trinket...popeye?

Do you have Metromeds and aquarium salt on hand. They are good to have around anyway. i would probably order some if not. Trinket or another mod can help.

I am just here for moral support. Good pictures by the way! Poor fishie! :(

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I lost my internet connection overnight so couldn't get online.

She is looking even weaker this morning, she is reluctant to swim at all :(

I have to go to work soon, so will have to leave her here and prepare for the worst I think

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You need to rinse those filter sponges. Sooner better. They do need rinsing every month at the very least, I do mine every 2 or 3 weeks. Rinse in old tank water...never know what has built up in there.

It is cloudy eye btw.

I should start there and that will help. Meanwhile if shes not eating we may have to move her to a separate tank/ rubbermaid with some meds (not sure- what can you get in Oz?).For now, just rinse those sponges/filter media well.

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Thanks Trinket,

I don't think I have anywhere big enough to move here to as I will be out all day, how much water will she need?

I rinsed the filters last night after I posted, they probably get rinsed on average once a month though, I just don't do them all every water change, I usually do one or 2 at each water change.

I a not sure what meds we can get here, It's hard to get a cold remedy for people in this country as they are such worriers, so I don't hold out much hope of getting meds over the counter.

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Right okay, it's like the UK then. Nothing much available for fish OTC. I'm going to check what's available and get back to you later. If the water is good/new you have rinsed the media, and you have some salt in there, you will just have to go to work and trust you have done what you can for now. You can always up the salt by another teaspoon per gallon. That will certainly help her and will not hurt the other two.

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Hi Trinket,

I am going to go to work a bit late, I have a plan.

I dug out the old 25 litre tank I had, and a new filter for it, I have given it as good a clean as I can (my son had a toy alligator in it) and it is soaking in Potassium Permanganate to hopefully sterilise it a bit

I can move her to that, and I have melafix here if you think that will help?

Should I use melafix and salt? or just one or the other?

Thanks again for your help

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You're welcome! Melafix and salt can be used together. Yes try that. A separate space is always good. Can you use some media from the main tank in the new filter to establish some instant cycle?

Dont forget to match temperature and pH too if you can. She will be less stressed on her own. And a bare bottom tank is best for bottom sitting as fish tend to pick up bacteria like that.

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Thanks Trinket

I will go 2 teaspoons per gallon on the salt, and see if I can use some of the media from the other tank

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OK she is in the small tank, with 20 litres of water, 4 teaspoons of salt and 2.5mls melafix

I added some of the ceramic noodles from the big tank filter, and a new filter pad.

I think thats the best I can do for her now

Keep your fingers crossed everyone, I really have got to go to work now

Feel sad saying goodbye to her, I have got very attached to this fish :(

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I know you have. Same fish was sick last time. You hand fed her and she got so tame :)

You are doing what you can. Will check on you later!

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Just got in from work, at 1am! :o I need a better job

Was expecting the worst, but she is still alive, she is still very weak though, I have dropped an algae wafer into her tank in the hope she can try and eat a little, and she is showing some interest in it, she has swam over to it and is kind of laying on top of it with her mouth, I hope she can egt some food from it.

I have a question about the melafix if anyone can advise me

It says on the instructions that I should add 5ml per 40 litres of water and repeat daily for 7 days, does this mean I should add extra each day so the dosage gets stronger? so that by the end of the week there would be 35ml per 4 litres?

It's not very clearly written really

Is there any other advice? should I add anything else to the tank other than the melafix and 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water? is there any treatment for cloudy eye?

Thanks for your help and your good wishes so far, she is still hanging in there, and is definitely a fighter, but still doesn't look promising :(

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Yes she is a fighter (and so are you) and there is hope. Melafix works in a build up way so yes you are supposed to keep adding every day. This doesn't mean you cannot do water changes it does mean you need a piece of paper by her tank to keep track of both that and the salt as it can get muddled. Too much melafix is not good. In fact since she is small and in so small a space just 3 days amount may be enough.

Do you have good aeration in there? I don't think you can buy antibiotics you put in the water there can you? Are there any antibacterial medications in stores? If not- clean water with zero ammonia/nitrites and extra low nitrates with the salt and melafix is what you can do for her.

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Woohoo she just ate something :nana

She has been having a go at the algae wafer for about 30 minutes, but seemed to be struggling, so I dropped in a tiny amount of sinking crumble things, and I just saw her swallow one of them.

I can hang on here for about another 20 minutes before going to work, so will do a water change and up the melafix dose then

Thanks again everyone, will update tonight, keep your fingers crossed

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That's very hopeful!

:goodluck

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